reason of high water, and to relieve several steamers under charter detained at the landing with stores on board, and under orders from the major-general commanding to make use of the streams that come freighted to Eastport to transport General Schofield's corps from Clifton to the Ohio River, I ordered on the next day, by direction of General Thomas, the large wharf- boat, known as the Crescent City, to be towed up from Paducah to Eastport. The wharf-boat arrived on the 27th following, and was immediately assigned for the storage of clothing, camp and garrison equipage, and quartermaster's, medical, and subsistence stores. The stores that were lying exposed on the river bank were at first put on board; afterward those from the steamers.
Previous to my arrival at Eastport large quantities of stores not needed for the army had been received, while those actually required had not come to hand.
Notwithstanding my efforts from time to time to prevent it, large quantities of grain and other quartermaster's stores, in advance of what was required for the supply of the troops and what had been asked for by me, kept coming to hand; hence an undue accumulation of grain at a depot subject at any time to an overflow, and where, besides, there were no means of protecting it against the heavy rains prevalent at that seasons of the year.
On the 24th of February, before the river had begun to excite apprehensions for the safety of the public property that was, for want of storage room, left on the river bank, I directed Captain W. A. Warren, assistant quartermaster, to apply to Colonel R. R. Stewart, commanding Fifth Division of Cavalry, Military Division of the Mississippi, and post, for a detail of men to report immediately and be worked in conjunction with 300 of Captain Warren's laborers in loading the stores day and night on the boats and barges detained at the landing for that purpose. The detail reported tardily and worked as soldiers badly disciplined usually work.
Soon the river commenced rising, but slowly. I now made requisition on other officers for a further detail of 500 men, and the day following for another 500. With these details I proceeded to transport all the stores on the bank at Chickasaw, distant about two miles from Eastport, and the only near landing accessible and above high-water mark. On account of the backwater the stores could not be taken to the high hills in the rear of Eastport. Finding that my present strength of detail was insufficient to accomplish my purpose, I applied to Brevet Major- General Wilson, commanding Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi, whose headquarters was twelve miles distant at Gravelly Springs, for an additional 1,000 men, and stated in my application the apprehension I felt for the safety of forage, unless rose to too great a height. I have no knowledge of that application being acted upon. Every effort was made by myself and the officers on duty in the Quartermaster's Department under me at Eastport to save all the property in jeopardy. We had ample time to have removed every sack of grain and other articles of property (that afterward became lost), and would have done so, I am assured, had the details of soldiers asked for reported promptly and worked industriously.
The department is greatly indebted to the foresight of Major- General Thomas in directing me to order up the wharf-boat Crescent City. Without it and its ample means of storage the loss of property